I am back with my March Hits & Misses, though it almost feels ‘wrong’ for some reason to be posting about beauty during this surreal time we are all living through. I don’t know why, as blogging is a great distraction for me. It gives me something to do and to focus on while all of this is going on and keeps me away from the news (mostly, at least).
How are you all coping with isolation? I didn’t mind it so much at first, but as the weeks go on with no end in sight, I’m finding it tougher, I admit. I love getting out and about, but as I can’t go out, and don’t know when I will be able to go out again, I’m finding it tough to bear. If there was even a date that I knew I could go out, it would make it a *lot* more bearable, but alas, there isn’t and so we must power on until we can start getting back to our normality again, whenever it may be.
As you can tell from the title, it is time for my March Hits & Misses. I didn’t get to do one for December, January or February, for a number of reasons, despite having planned to do one for each month. I’m a bit behind on blogging also, but I’m hoping to be able to catch up over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for some new posts coming your way soon. Now I’ve got that out of the way, I’ll crack on with my Hits & Misses for this month. I’ve got quite a few skincare favourites this month, so I will talk about those first.
Avène Tolérance Extrême Mask — This has been a total saviour recently as my skin has become extremely dry, due to a number of reasons, and this has been a huge help in helping to combat that dryness to a certain extent.
The instructions say to apply a ‘thick layer’ and leave for five minutes, after about 3 minutes of applying a thick layer, pretty much all of the mask had absorbed into my skin, it was so dry. I knew my skin had become drier than normal, but I was surprised at how quickly (and how much) my skin absorbed this mask. Available from Boots, Escentual, Look Fantastic and Roches Pharmacy.
My skin did feel lovely afterwards, it felt plump, hydrated and a lot less dry. I’ll definitely keep using this, and will possibly pick up some more products from this range as this has helped my skin a lot and I think maybe in conjunction with some of their other products, my skin may become even better, and hopefully a less dry.
Blistex MedPlus Repairing Lip Balm — I finished the Kiehls Buttermask recently and had no lip balm so I grabbed this in Boots and it’s been a saviour for my lips as they have been in dire condition. They were extremely dry and just felt uncomfortable and this has been such a massive help in getting back to somewhat decent condition where they’re not like the Sahara!
It’s a gorgeous minty balm that tingles when first applied, which I personally love as it feels like it’s actually doing something for me. I wish it came in a stick formula as it would be a great one for throwing into my handbag for us when out and about. It’s very cheap and works wonderfully so if dry, cracked/chapped and sore lips are something you suffer from, this balm is one worth checking out. It’s only £2.29 in Superdrug.
Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream — This eye cream has been a firm favourite of mine for years, this along with Clinique’s All About Eyes (rich version) are quite possibly my most two repurchased eye creams, I love them both so much.
This has been amazing at keeping my under-eye area from becoming extremely dry, just like the skin on the rest of my face. A small bit is all you need and your under-eye will be very hydrated and moisturised, but not greasy. This is expensive, but well worth it IMO and because you only need a small amount per use, it lasts quite a while too. Available from Bobbi Brown UK, Debenhams.ie, Look Fantastic and John Lewis.
Dove Pro Age Body Butter & Body Wash — These two have been wonderful at keeping my skin super moisturised and I’ve had no flakiness since I started using them, which for me, is huge as I always have dry, itchy skin on my body (especially my legs) that flakes off and can leave my skin very sore and a little red. Since I’ve started using these, especially the body butter, I’ve had no issues with that and the dryness I suffered has reduced hugely.
The body butter is very thick and rich, which I personally love and it deeply moisturises my skin and even when I shower the following morning, my skin still feels moisturised, it’s like the body butter hasn’t rinsed off at all. It doesn’t leave a film, residue or greasy feeling on my skin, which I really like.
It does have a lovely scent, it’s quite like shea butter, but it isn’t strong, which is a big plus for me as I am not a fan of the scent of shea butter personally. They are extremely affordable also, so well worth a try if you suffer from dry (or extremely dry) skin. Available from Boots.ie, Boots UK, Superdrug and various supermarkets.
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream Moisturiser — This is a gorgeous, rich, creamy moisturiser that I have been loving these past few weeks. It’s not greasy and doesn’t leave an uncomfortable residue or film on my skin once applied and it absorbs really quickly, which I assume is partly down to my skin being so dry and need a lot more hydration and moisturisation than it normally would.
It layers really well with my other skincare products and doesn’t pill. To my knowledge this range is discontinued which is a pity, as both this cream and the gel crème are absolutely gorgeous, however, they are still available in TK Maxx so if you see them in store, they are well worth checking out.
Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentrate — With my skin being so dry as of late, I noticed that a few times when I have applied foundation, it has quite literally dried into my skin and looked thick, heavy and cakey, almost as if I had layers upon layers of foundation and powder(s) on my skin, even when I hadn’t, however, when mixed with this, that doesn’t happen.
A tiny bit of foundation (maybe ½ a pump) with about a pea sized amount of this blended together and then buffed into my skin and my foundation looks healthy and glowy, with no dryness, heaviness or cakiness. I can of course apply more, and I will get the same effect, again, with no dryness, heaviness or cakiness.
This has become a staple product for me, not only to mix with my foundations, but also to use as a mask, moisturiser and primer. It’s one of the best multi-use products have come across in a long, long time. It’s also really affordable and widely available. Highly recommend this. Available from Beauty Bay, Boots.ie, Boots UK, Cult Beauty, Escentual, Feel Unique, Inish Pharmacy, Look Fantastic, Meaghers Pharmacy and Superdrug.
Herbal Essentials Refreshing Toner — For a long time now I haven’t bothered using a toner as I didn’t really feel that they did anything for my skin and a lot of them can be drying on my skin type, so I avoided them, however I’ve seen this particular brand on Instagram a lot over the past while and I really wanted to try some of their products, so when I spotted this in TK Maxx for €2.99 and saw that it contains Rosewater I decided to give it a try, and so far, I love it.
I don’t really use it as a toner, I use it as more of an essence I guess. I take a few drops into the palms of my hands and then pat them into my skin and leave them to absorb before going in with another product. I find it works really well for me and my skin seems to really like it too.
VitaminSea.Beauty Marine Algae Coconut Water H20 Gel Mask — This mask is one I picked up on a whim in TK Maxx a few months ago and it is one I have fallen deeply in love with because of how hydrating it is. It is without a doubt one of the most hydrating overnight masks I have ever used. It’s simply amazing for hydration.
It has a very light gel texture that melts beautifully into the skin to give some super hydration overnight. I also like to use it during the day when I and also under makeup, as it makes a beautiful base for makeup and gives a gorgeous glow to my skin, too.
My skin is bright and radiant (although not as much recently due to the extreme dryness) but this adds an extra glow and I’ve even been complimented on my skin on days where I have worn this. It’s been my go-to leave-on hydrating mask for a while now and it’s one that I will continue to gravitate towards because of how wonderful it is.
The only place I have ever been able to find this is in TK Maxx, where it is under €10. I bought mine on offer for under €5, but full price it’s not much more expensive, only a few euro. It is available from VitaminSeaBeauty.com for $18, however I think they may only ship within the United States and not internationally, unfortunately.
I haven’t been wearing much makeup, given that I haven’t been going out anywhere and I would rarely wear makeup at home anyway, but when I have been wearing makeup, the following products are what I was gravitating towards.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation — I got this a while ago and hadn’t used it, until recently as I needed (and wanted) to use up some of my other foundations first, and finally, I did that, so I cracked open this and I absolutely love it. It’s a beautiful creamy formula that glides onto my skin and blends in seamlessly. My favourite method of application is with a Beauty Blender. Just a few swipes of this and then my BB to blend it into my skin and it is beautiful.
It claims to have a ‘natural looking matte finish’, which I definitely agree with. It’s not overly matte, it has a lovely radiance to it. It is extremely lightweight, it’s possibly the most lightweight foundation I think I own. It blends and builds seamlessly. I used the shade Warm Ivory, which for me is perfect. When I swipe it on, I can barely see it on my skin, the colour is so like my natural skin tone.
Clarins Instant Concealer shade ‘02’ — This is a new concealer to me, and one I’ve fallen in love with. It is very creamy whilst providing good coverage without accentuating fine lines or dryness. I use shade ‘02’, which is their second lightest shade, and suits me far better than shade ‘01’, which was far too pale on me, it looked awful. Absolutely awful. It was so light on me that it accentuated my fine lines and made my under-eye look dry and caked in makeup.
I love the packaging, I love that it comes in a squeezy tube, so you can get every last bit out and when you get to the end, you can cut the tube open and really get the last of it out. My only critique of this concealer is that is only comes in five shades, they could really do with expanding their shade range.
Sephora Collection Oil Infusion Color & Care balm in ‘Raspberry Smoothie’ — As the weather gets better and we come into the Spring & Summer seasons, I love to switch up my lipsticks and wear brighter colours, and recently when I’ve been wearing a bright lip, I’ve been loving wearing a bright lipliner with this lip balm/lip oil over top. This lip oil/lip balm is very comfortable, and is exactly as the name suggests it is — an oil/balm. It gives a nice shine to my lips, but it isn’t full-on glossy, which I am really loving at the moment.
The combination of the balm/oil and bright lippy is just gorgeous and really brightens up my complexion, especially when the rest of my makeup is minimal, which it usually is. This oil/balm gives a barely-there tint to my lips, so I prefer wearing it over a lip liner. It’s unlike my NARS Orgasm Lip-Oil Tint, which does leave a stain/tint on my lips, this one doesn’t leave as much colour on my lips so it really benefits from the addition of a lip liner underneath.
I have two nail polishes favourites, one by Chanel and one by Essie, both of which I adore. Painting my nails is one of my absolute favourite things to do. I find it thoroughly relaxing and therapeutic to do and at the moment, I find myself doing it more regularly. From Chanel, I have the shade Mysterious, which is a beautiful olive/khaki colour and it has a crème finish with no shimmer or glitter.
It does take two coats for full opaqueness, but it isn’t streaky or patchy and it dries fairly quickly, too. It’s not the most long-lasting, I have found. I get maybe 2-3 days from it with no chipping, however there is tip wear, which is to be expected I guess with housework etc. Despite that, I really love this polish, I love the colour and formula, I do just wish the wear time was a little better, especially for a luxury brand.
I believe it is from their 2013 Fall collection, that’s what I have seen from a Google search. I was kindly gifted this at Christmas and I do know that it was purchased in TK Maxx. I’m not sure how much this one was, but I have seen other Chanel polishes there from time to time, all priced between €6.99 nd €15.99.
The other polish I’ve been loving Bachelorette Bash by Essie. This is a gorgeous fuchsia colour, it’s quite bright and perfect for the Spring/Summer time. I adore this shade, it’s one I have repurchased a few times because love it so much. It has a lovely creamy formula, with a crème finish and no shimmer or glitter. It’s a little more long-wearing than Chanel’s Mysterious, I get maybe four days with no chipping and only minor tip wear.
I have a few misses this month and my first miss of the month is the Avène Hydrance Optimale UV Rich. I got this ages ago as I wanted a moisturiser with an SPF in it and this sounded good to me, plus, there are quite a few Avène prducts that I love, so I figured I would most likely love this one too, but unfortunately, I don’t.
This leaves a greasy yet powdery coating/residue on my skin. It’s the strangest thing to be quite honest. I’ve never experienced this with any other product. I’ve had products that leave a greasy residue, but none that look and feel greasy and powdery at the same time. It’s very odd. I dislike is how it doesn’t absorb into my skin, at all! It sits on top of my skin with little to no absorption. I’ve tried it with my regular skincare routine, tried it without any other products underneath and tried it with just a hydrating serum, and all have the same results — no absorption.
The third and final thing I dislike is the smell. The scent is that typical sunscreen scent, but with stale biscuits. It is literally like stale bicsuits and sunscreen combined into one. It ain’t nice.
I was running out of my beloved Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat, and decided to pick up the CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat after reading many a rave review about it. It has nothing on Sally’s Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat at all. This gave my nails a dull finish with very visible brush stroke marks. I tried it with different polishes and it did the same to each and every one of them.
I had about a ⅓ of a bottle left of my Sally Hansen and ended up mixing the two just so I could use the CND one up as it was expensive for a top coat. Maybe mine is a dud, I don’t know, but I’m not a fan of it at all.
I also had two disappointing hand creams this month, although the Aveeno Daily Moisturising Hand Cream isn’t *that* much of a surprise, really, given that I’m not a huge fan of Aveeno products because they have never have worked for me, and the smell really puts me off.
This particular is quite weightless and I felt like I didn’t have anything on my hands, which is good in on way, at least it’s not sticky or greasy, but on the other hand, it just felt like it didn’t do anything and that’s because well, it didn’t do anything. There was no difference in my hands before and after using this. I could apply it a few times, one after another, and still it was weightless and did nothing for my hands. That said, they are extremely dry at the moment due to the extra washing, but even at their normal dryness level, this still didn’t do anything.
The Dove Pro Age hand cream was one I had high hopes for given how much I adore the body butter and body wash from the same range, however this is exactly like the Aveeno cream, in that it is weightless and does nothing. I can apply 3-4 layers, one straight after another and it does start to feel greasy and sticky, so it’s best with two layers, unless you want your hands to have a greasy and sticky feeling.
The Kiehl’s Buttermask For Lips lip mask is one I had been dying to try for ages and finally I did, and to say I am disappointed would be an understatement. This did absolutely nothing for my lips. Literally nothing. This claims to “smooth and softens their feel while you sleep”. It did nothing of the sort, for my lips at least.
It absorbed quickly, but too quickly, and when it did absorb, it was as if I had never applied any lip balm at all to my lips. It is quite honestly one of the worst lip masks/products I have ever used — and I’ve used a lot. It’s quite expensive at €25/£22/$26 and for it to do nothing, is highly disappointing.
I used it every 2-3 nights at first, and when I saw no difference, I used it more regularly until I ended up using it every night, and then every day, reapplying regularly throughout the day, and still, there is no difference. I’ve worked through it quite quickly, which isn’t ideal given what it costs. My beloved Nuxe Rêve de Miel, costs half of what this does and works far better, plus it lasts longer, too. I’ve already gone back to that lip balm — it never lets me down. Ever.
I tried the the Too Faced Born This Way Concealer as well, after dying to try it for so long and I don’t like it, at all. It oxidises something shocking. No word of a lie, this oxidises by at least 2-2.5 shades. Horrendous. It has a nice creamy and lightweight consistency, it blends and applies nicely, but it starts oxidising once blended and only gets worse and when set, it cakes up something horrendous.
It removes any foundation underneath, and no tools or fingers, or frankly anything will fix it. In my experience; I had to remove my makeup and start from scratch. Frankly, it is one of the worst I have *ever* used. Full review here.
My final miss of the month is the Mauli Supreme Skin Face Serum. This was, in a word, awful. It made my eyes stream like no other, it was greasy and didn’t absorb and it has a very strong and overpowering scent. I will have a full review on this up for you this week so I don’t want to say too much now, but I will say that if you have sensitive skin (and mine is mildly sensitive), then I would avoid this.
This post is not sponsored or affiliated with any of the brands or companies mentioned, and all opinions are my own. No affiliate links are used in this, or any other post. Any products marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly gifted to me.